There are many benefits to restoring a watershed and its ecosystems and the services that these places provide are priceless to our culture and way of life.
Learn about each of the ways that the land sustains us.
SUPPORT ECONOMIC DIVERSITY
i mea e ‘ūlakolako ai ka nohona
so that life might be prosperous and comfortable
David Malo Kupihea
'ai | food
ho‘olako| to supply, equip, provide, enrich
Ho‘o is all that we do - the hard work required. Once the hard work is done and we have what we need, the resulting state is “lako” – having enough, being well-supplied, equipped, prosperous, or wealthy. Our efforts cultivate abundance. Having more than enough so that one can share with others is a cornerstone of the Hawaiian concept of wealth.
Our ancestors developed the Ahupua‘a System, and today we look to it for guidance to fix our communities and restore our connection to the land and our abundance. The Ahupua‘a System was unique to Hawai‘i and sustained its people for countless generations by acknowledging the reciprocal relationship between ‘āina and kanaka (man).
Silviculture, ranching, woodworking, agriculture and even eco-tourism can all put food on the table while keeping the connection to the land.
WE SUPPORT LOCAL COMMUNITIES
Growing plants from the local seed bank will help save site specific DNA & create jobs
Working with the Hawai'i Agriculture Research Center and local seed bank organizations, LHWRP shares the vision for forestry in Hawaii as an industry that is sustainable, provides for economic development through value-added products, enriches the community by creating new jobs, and enhances the environment through sound conservation practices.
Seed bank collection sites are sources of seeds for both restoration and silviculture, and also provide for areas where other native complementary native species can be planted and collected efficiently.
Rotational grazing cuts down on fire-prone invasive grasses and provides food.
Our Partnership was started by, among others, historical ranching families who believed it was important to manage watershed lands across ownership boundaries. With six major working ranches within the Partnership boundaries, we rely on the paniolos (cowboys) constant watch on the mountain to help our small staff maintain more than 43,000 acres.
Successful rotational grazing efforts can also cut down on the spread of invasive fire prone grasses. It is our goal to work with our ranch partners to experiment with domestic goats and to conduct strategic grazing for firebreaks. LHWRP seeks ways to protect and restore native watershed forests through comprehensive wildland fire planning. We are currently in the infancy phase but are involving landowners and other partners like the Maui County Fire Department, State of Hawai‘i - Division of Forestry and Wildlife, and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands-Kahikinui.
Leverage the tourism economy to benefit native forested watersheds.
In 2017, the number of visitors traveling to Maui County broke a record for the third year in a row, at over 2.7 million people (1). While that tourism brings money to our state through their expenditures, it doesn't necessarily trickle down to feed our forests. Our goal is create opportunities to get our tourists involved in the day-to-day work it takes to keep Hawaii as a beautiful, inviting place to visit.
With native planting days, invasive species removal, and other volunteer opportunities we can bring a unique experience for travelers, while also employing more local residents in meaningful work.
Woodworking, small farm agriculture, and cultural resource gathering can be supported in a healthy watershed.
A healthy watershed can support humans as a part of the ecosystem. Besides income generating directives, LHWRP promotes the sustainable use of forest species and lands for crafts, cultural uses and even small farm agriculture.
The traditional uses of native species in this region are numerous. Of the 50 native species found in one small region of our Partnership:
19 species (38%) are known to have been used for medicine,
13 species (26%) for tool-making,
13 species (26%) for canoe building
13 species (26%) for house building,
8 species (16%) for tools for making kapa
8 species (16%) for weapons
8 species (16%) for fishing,
8 species (16%) for dyes, and
7 species (14 %) for religious purposes.
Other uses include edible fruits and seeds, bird lime, cordage, a fish narcotizing agent, quality firewood, a source of "fireworks", recreation, scenting agents, poi boards, and holua sled construction.